Fines for cycling on sidewalks kick in today

Cyclists who stray from the path will now have to pay the piper

(By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Bike riders who stray from the official bike lanes on sidewalks will be subject to fines beginning today (July 17), city's Department of Transportation (DOT) said Sunday.  

Effective today, those bike riders who are caught cycling on sidewalks and the arcades (騎樓, covered sidewalks) outside of bike lane markings will be subject to a fine of between NT$300 (US$10) and NT$600. If a sidewalk does not have a designated bike lane, they must ride in the slow lane of the street. 

Traffic police will primarily be enforcing the new measure on Xinyi Road, Ren'ai Road, Xinsheng South Road and Roosevelt Road, where the network of bike lines have been completed. The Department of Transportation said that the enforcement of this law will be expanded over time as more bike lines are added to more roads. 

The DOT said the new measures were devised to promote cycling etiquette as Taipei's residents have increasingly turned toward the use of YouBikes, oBikes, and privately owned bicycles in recent years. Bicycles are now used for 5.1% of journeys in Taipei, according to data from the DOT. 

In addition to not cycling on arcades or non-designed bike lanes on the sidewalk, when riding on sidewalks, cyclists should yield to pedestrians and riders should walk their bicycles when encountering arcades to respect pedestrians and establish a concept of friendly riding, said the DOT. 

Also, beginning on January 1 of next year, bicycles which have been parked illegally will be towed away.